The aim of this study was to explore the effects of the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown on mood states, stress, alcohol consumption and perceived immune fitness in a Dutch sample. Analysis included a subsample from the “Corona Lockdown: how fit are you?” (CLOFIT) study, comprising N = 761 participants who reported consuming alcohol in 2020. Results show that, compared to pre-lockdown, the first COVID-19 lockdown (March 2020) was associated with experiencing poorer mood (e.g., anxiety, depression, loneliness, fatigue) and increased stress levels. Among younger participants (18 to 35 years old), a significant decrease in weekly alcohol consumption was found during COVID-19 lockdown, which was not significant in older individuals. For the younger age cohort (18 to 35 years old), increased stress significantly correlated to increased weekly alcohol consumption (r = 0.163, p = 0.003), which in turn, correlated significantly to reporting a poorer perceived immune fitness (r = −0.165, p = 0.002). Poorer perceived immune fitness correlated significantly with increases in the presence and severity of COVID-19 symptoms (r = −0.313, p < 0.001, and r = −0.325, p < 0.001, respectively). The data provides evidence for significant relationships between changes in mood, stress and alcohol consumption during COVID-19 lockdown, and supports a model that links these changes to perceived immune fitness and susceptibility to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Cite as

Merlo, A., Severeijns, N., Benson, S., Scholey, A., Garssen, J., Bruce, G. & Verster, J. 2021, 'Mood and changes in alcohol consumption in young adults during covid-19 lockdown: a model explaining associations with perceived immune fitness and experiencing covid-19 symptoms', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(19), article no: 10028. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910028

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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